tv [untitled] May 22, 2012 8:00am-8:30am PDT
our hope is by september, barring any unforeseen appeals that mr. crouse pointed out in the process that we do not get to control, not lists will be available for the department to -- lists will be available for the apartment to go through certification for individuals to fill those positions. i think pamela is like to talk to you about where they are currently. we have made significant progress. i think you will be pleased when you hear from the department about how many positions are on the verge of or are the have been offered. there are 17 positions currently under consideration. that means the eligible list has been deferred to the department. again, dhr will prioritize the following exams in order to get this to -- lists established to
fill those positions. you have any questions about any part of the presentation? >> i probably will hold my comments until the end and we can hear the other testimony. i might have a question for you, related to timing. >> the part of building inspection. -- the department of building inspection. i want to make a few remarks and then i will tell you all sorts of good news. >> i am from the mayor's budget office and i wanted to thank you for having this hearing this morning. i want to reiterate our commitment to working with the department to fill the positions the mayor is committed to, to
make sure there are enough positions available for the department to continue operations. one thing that we have to do as well is to make sure that apartments stays within their budgets throughout the year. it is a dual role that we play. we have to advocate for the department, but also do our job with the citywide picture. that is what we continue to do throughout the year. the department is very active and vigilant in their requisitions, more so than other departments. they're doing a great job to make sure that is always on our radar. i'm happy to answer any questions as well. >> commissioner? rex first, i want to thank human-resources and everybody -- >> first, i want to thank human- resources anybody who came. but i think the reason this was
put on the agenda is because the main complaints the department gets is our ability to deliver permit. and also, complaints from tenants. both sides of the inspection services and things like that. what this commission noticed was that we have a lot of unfilled vacancies. one of the things that i think that was raised in the commission, i think some of that has been resolved. we have the ability to bring back some retirees. with all respect to how long civil service takes and the rose you guys have to follow, we know we cannot change that -- the rules you guys have to follow, we know we cannot change that. it is just the way it is. in the mayor's office we say, we know bringing back retirees may not be the most fiscally prudent
thing, and it may not even be the most popular and we do not want to do it. but rather than let the permit said, look, it used to take as a month and now it is only taking us to weeks. you should be happy. and they are not. we would like to hire permanent and higher quickly. -- hire quickly. that is why this stuff has happened. if we can do that, especially because this department generates funds. that is based on the premise that we can generate those permits and things like that. one of the things we want to make sure the city knows is that we are balancing. we want to hire as quickly as
possible, but if we cannot, can we then bring back some retirees to clear some of the backlog? and we need everyone to understand why we are doing that. >> thank you for coming here this morning. the good news. the cracks -- >> i first want to tell you about the completed recruitments that we had in the last month or so. we have failed -- filled one associate engineer, and that was a transfer. three senior clerks. one senior clerk typist, which was a transfer. one cashier, too, which is we needed to get somebody on board
to be able to migrate into the new cash management system. this individual is going to start in june. and and i was iios -- ios engineer that will be coming on to deal with information technology products. and then we have an associate engineer, who was brought back to help sonya. i'm talking about the non-examsh the position-based exams, which a person assigned us to get through those. terms of interviews that we scheduled, we have next week interviews for associate engineer and engineer.
five engineers. in the week of the 28th, a short week because of memorial day, we will have interviews for assistant engineer and finally for our principal clerk. that was one of the one where we were waiting on the certification of the list to be done because that is a city- wide type of position. that pretty much leaves everything. after the exams, we have a few acquisitions for position that will also be part of the exam. we will hire everybody together. i do want to recognize that this process is very difficult, for
everyone involved, mayor's office, dhr, and for us. i think we are working well together and that we have got some really good response from dhr to help us through this process. this is very ballpark, these numbers, but we have 40 vacancies. we have to keep 25 of those vacant or attrition. to the extent that we can knocked -- patrician, if you do not know, you get all your salaries, and then attrition takes away a portion of your salary, so you are not budgeted fully for your 200 positions. your only budgeted for -- these are rough numbers -- 175.
i am not give you accurate numbers. we have to watch carefully and make sure that we do not exceed the number of positions and the amount of money we have budgeted. as the roll into next year with having these positions filled, we are going to have to watch very closely because although we are asking for additional positions, we need to make sure we manage our attrition level. that is a difficult judgment call situation, but we would not be able to fill positions if we did not manage our attrition, and would get approval from the mayor's office or controller's office. >> commissioners, any questions? >> i want to talk about attrition. as far as departments go, we seem to be based -- maybe you
have the answer. 25 people seems to be higher than most other departments. i think that runs at 30%? >> we are running at 18%. it is not particularly high. it is really based on the dollar value and that translates into positions. the only way to look at it is, we have to keep some positions vacant, but i do not think ours is higher than other departments. in fact, women go through the budget process, historically, we have not been impacted by trying to impact the budget by increasing the number of positions we have vacant. we are not subject to the same problems of other departments are. >> if it is based on dollar
amounts and we have a rising economy here, you are going to have more money but that does not change our attrition rates? >> you have to go back to the board supervisors to ask for an additional authority to spend. even though you are bringing in more revenue, the way the budget is, the budget ordinance gives you an authority to spend. you have to have it adjusted if you want to spend more than the authority to have. if you suddenly wanted to hire -- i do not know -- 14 more positions on the fifth floor, and plan review -- we would have to go back and ask for authority to have an amendment to the annual salary ordinance and an amendment to the annual appropriation ordinance.
my question is more for the mayor's office. on this very topic, we are a different animal than other departments. whereas we can project that the department of public health, for instance, is going to need to have a number of positions chopped off based on a projected loss in general fund revenues for next year, dbi run by different cycle. it is about development by the private sector. i am wondering if the budget analyst takes that into account in figuring out the percentages of attrition that each department is supposed to take. and then in moving to a two-year budget, what does that look like in terms of your analysis? for example, projecting a loss
of revenue from cbdg. how do we, as the commission, the way-in on those nuances? -- weigh-in on those nuances? >> you are right, we are different than other enterprise departments where they have different revenue streams. one thing to be cognizant of is the history of dbi in the last few years, especially since two years ago where we had issues with a lot of layoffs that had happened because the revenues were not there. when we look at dbi, especially with a two-year budget, we have to be conservative on the revenue projections. that drives salary, all the other non-personnel costs. the reason why we built in attrition, especially for dbi,
we do not know what is going to happen. we need some sort of mechanism in place to ensure the department doesn't go over a certain salary budget. it is a lot easier to reduce materially than it is to reduce people. >> i understand that, of course. we all understand that everybody needs to live within their means, but we do know something is going to happen. in the last 12 month's rent have risen by 15.6%. the department has seen a 30% increase in building permit applications, from 12 months ago. those things we know. we can project by district no. the rise in real-estate values and the ensuing development. my question specifically was, your office, in doing the budget projections, do you take those
datapoint into account when putting together the attrition we have to take? >> yes, we do. that is one thing you will see in the budget submission. i am blanking on the number of positions added, but we are cognizant that there are some changes to the economy out there. we are letting the department increased the number of positions that go into the aso. >> i have a question related to this, and it was brought up earlier regarding the lists. because of the nature of dbi and actual connection with the work level of our department, it seems to me, we might all come together and be more proactive
about making sure the lists are active, awful, ready to go, to be able to respond quicker to these kinds of adjustments in the market. i think that would help us a lot if we could get a commitment from the mayor's office on that. >> you are talking specifically -- >> build lists are ready to go. >> we will be working with the departments to make sure that we are keeping up with what we need to do. >> i have been on the commission for 10 years and as we have laid people off, the work ramps up, we are way too slow in being able to fill these crucial positions. this is not the first time we have had to wait for these kinds of responses spirit it affects the public. i would hope that we all can do
that because i think it would help us a lot. >> commissioners, just a follow up on some of the issues being raised. the problem is that civil service is not nimble. it is not a nimble way to respond to a department which has -- which is so market- responsive. we have the same issue in planning. we're talking about career jobs. we have a challenge. by the time things are wrapping up -- do we have a list? we are all constrained to resources and will be looking for where we know there is hiring. that is one of the challenges. we have to look in different ways of navigating that. it was mentioned earlier, we
have had to use historical provisional employees. it is not an efficient process because they end up taking a test twice. you have to do a test to bring them in the door and then up to three years for the exam. we are under some pressure from the civil service commission and the state to keep our provisional count low, however, i do not have been a steady but i have an immediate need to hire. there is a conversion you can do, if you need to, and that is something that we are willing to work with the department on with. prop f is also an inappropriate response. we have labor contracts that preclude us from allowing lots of retirees to come back and work. i think someone mentioned the political ramifications of doing that. it double dipping and everything else. however, your job is to get the work done.
there are circumstances when it is appropriate to use a retired employee for a short period of time, when we are waiting for an examination. also, it is true, once we lay people off, they are in a different list, assuming they're still available. there is no exam process. if there is an uptick in the needs, we take that person off of the hold over list and return to duty in their old job. the challenge, of course, is they may have found other employment, but it is also there as an opportunity. i just wanted to make sure that we were clear, that we view those as available, in response to this requirement for a more nimble system, even though that is not the civil service is, by definition. >> you brought up a point about the layover list.
i wonder if there is an update, how many have we hired back from those that we have laid off? >> we have exhausted those lists. we did that six months ago. the transfer was an engineer that was laid off from dbi and went to work for another department and is willing to come back to dbi, which is great for us, and because she is already trained. we brought in our last building inspector, code enforcement now. once the layoff list was exhausted, then we have to go to the position-based testing, and that isdhr is helping with us bp new tests from the ones that were made six years ago for the existing positions. we will have all new position-
based testing lists for the building inspectors, electrical inspectors, plumbing inspectors, and once those are developed, they are specific to dbi. that will help us bring in new people and get lists that we can have a continuous announcement for, and similar to the engineer positions we have. >> i have a question for you, too, actually. >> i wanted to respond to commissioner melgar's question. when we built this budget, we look at our projections for this fiscal year that were done in december, january time frame, and built in 82% for next year and another 3% for the following year.
we did look at and anticipate an improvement in the economy. we always have the right to request supplemental, to increase positions, but the one thing we will have to be able to prove to them is that the increase in revenues is stable. we will not have this up and down sort of thing. right now, we are still dealing with the up and down, and i will talk about that when we do the finance report. the mayor's office will release his budget at the end of may. june 1 is being charter required date. we will go into the budget analyst process, hopefully not lose any of the position we asked for, and then we will
reevaluate things probably in december or so to look at where we really think we are, where we think we are going to be. i believe they will open up the budget process for a second year, because we are not locked in yet, because we have not done this before. so we can have another opportunity to say, we know we have more revenues. the biggest problem and the biggest concern, having been here and working with director day, is that we do not ramp up too fast without knowing what is going on with the economy. then we will have to lay people off, and i do not want to go
through that again. i do not think any of you do either. >> on this attrition issue, are we higher or lower with everyone else? >> even when i was thinking, when the previous people were up, -- we are actually increasing positions for next year but our attrition level is staying stable. we are not being hit that way. that is often done when people have to balance a budget. i believe we are on par. i do not get the attrition report for other departments. there is a specific report tthat
shows what people are budgeted and what they are running at. i would be glad to come back and provide something to you. >> that would be helpful because obviously, we do not want to be going backwards again. that would be helpful, for me, if everyone is thinking in the same format, that the economy is bumping along here -- whatever. >> on this last page of the handout, there is a list to be developed by september. are those our lists, or the department's? how does this relate to the five that you indicated were hired? where are we in getting these lists developed, and at what party right? >> when i reported what was already hired, we had the
referral. after they do the class-based testing, classifications used by other people, we use that for our 1406 positions, which is the lowest clerk level. the principal clerks we are about to hire, those people were referred, a referral from dhr. there are some things that we can do ourselves, and are doing, based on what has been given to us. that is what i was reporting about. there are things that we need help doing, and that is the position-based testing. those are positions that we wanted to fill, we have got the authority to fill them, we just need help getting the test. >> and these are position-based.
so that is the help we are getting -- >> they are all departmental specific. obviously, ted could point this out a little better, but what comes out our people that can do what we need them to do. >> thank you very much for your time. ted, obviously, thank you for this presentation this morning. as somebody that has parachuted into this situation, this gives us the road map. as a commissioner, we want to see the future, understand our past. we came from a difficult time, a lot of layoffs, etcetera. there were a lot of mitigating factor that got us to this point. what is the moral of the story
here? when we get the budgets in place, we have the authorization to hire. are we telling our people who are heading the departments, look, it is going to take one year. if you want to talk about that, you have to be thinking when you're out, particularly when comes to this kind of hiring. trying to read the tea leaves here, but what is the opinion you are giving to the department? the red flags have been coming up. i do not know if you have any insight, what is your advice on that? >> two points. the department of human resources evaluates all position changes or new requests that come in from every department. we are committed to the
partnership with director day to look at brand new positions, position substitutions, to ensure that we provide as much resources as is necessary to develop as well as we can lists in advance. that is the key to all of this. insuring there are hiring lists available when the request to film gets produced. i know we are committed to the department, to ensure that we begin to look towards the future. the second point i want to make, we develop these position-based exams to develop a list. it is pertinent to look at exams that can potentially be read minister so that we can create some ongoing lists. as you know, when somebody applies for an exam -- at a certain point, that list gets stale.